The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Supernatural or Skill (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
Samuel
View Profile
Special user
Norway
831 Posts

Profile of Samuel
Quote:
On 2005-08-28 01:51, Cain wrote:
I do not view it as part of my responsibility as a magician. Rather, it's my responsibility as a person. Sometimes people need assurances that it is not real. I feel obligated to tell the truth. See for instance the thread on Criss Angel's levitation in the Secret Sessions forum.


Why do you think it's your responsibility to shatter illusions that can keep people thinking and become even more and more intrigued when they forget more and more of the handling in the effect? Why ruin something that might be peoples only chance of escaping this reality and see something that's truly impossible?

There is nothing wrong with believing that magic is real! Truly, you should believe that the magic is real yourself when you perform, the magic will gain a lot by that! If it could hurt to believe that magic was real, then I'd tell - but it doesn't hurt...

Kind of with God - I believe in God! But if I KNEW that he didn't exist, I wouldn't go tell people this, because that faith is a very good thing to have Smile
Samuel

Magic is everywhere
ziatro
View Profile
Veteran user
Havant, England
322 Posts

Profile of ziatro
If you present your magic purely as a feat of skill then I think you are missing the whole point of magic. From a personal standpoint, all the skill that is used to perform an effect should go unnoticed by the spectator, who should be wrapped up in the presentation and personality of the performer. Let's be clear on this; very few spectators believe you are doing real magic, they generally know that it is trickery. But if you perform with a real love for your magic, and a genuine fondness for your audience, they will be left with an unforgettable memory. Surely this is the real magic.
Jaz
View Profile
Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6112 Posts

Profile of Jaz
Quote:
On 2005-08-26 20:50, Black Magic wrote:
After reading and replying to the thread on the religious conflict and all the black magic talk I think it would be interest in seeing how we present our magic.
As I said in my response, I present my magic as a matter of skill.
((deleted))
So, how do you present your's?


There are two ways I present card tricks.
One mini-act is a gambling theme so I make no claims of the supernatural.

Other card tricks may involve rising cards, torn and restored, prediction, etc.
Again I make no claims but prefer to let spectators decide.
Francis Cambridge
View Profile
New user
61 Posts

Profile of Francis Cambridge
If I had any supernatural powers, I don't think I would go anywhere near a deck of cards. Skill all the way! Cute chilies gecko.

Camby
Samuel
View Profile
Special user
Norway
831 Posts

Profile of Samuel
Quote:
On 2005-08-28 07:22, Francis Cambridge wrote:
If I had any supernatural powers, I don't think I would go anywhere near a deck of cards. Skill all the way!


And then you have all the other venues of magic Smile Matches, rubber bands, straws, ropes, rings and so forth.

The reason for using cards (and these other objects) is to do magic with something that the spectators can relate to. If I had supernatural powers, I'd show it with everyday objects, not special bought and crafted objects Smile
Samuel

Magic is everywhere
scorch
View Profile
Inner circle
1480 Posts

Profile of scorch
Quote:
On 2005-08-28 01:51, Cain wrote:
I do not view it as part of my responsibility as a magician. Rather, it's my responsibility as a person. Sometimes people need assurances that it is not real. I feel obligated to tell the truth.


Given the purist nature of your stated views about "the truth," and the fact that magic absolutely relies on deception, are you sure you have chosen the right art form for you? When you force a card on a spectator, do you tell them that you are forcing a card? After all, that is "the truth," isn't it?

You still have not explained why you feel this obligation to blunt the effect of your magic by assuring them that it is not magic (a rather odd confession for a magician, seemingly). Why are you so sure that the audience "need assurances" like that? Did they tell you? It seems rather presumptuous for you to define for your audience what their needs are.
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1504 Posts

Profile of Cain
Quote:
Why do you think it's your responsibility to shatter illusions that can keep people thinking and become even more and more intrigued when they forget more and more of the handling in the effect? Why ruin something that might be peoples only chance of escaping this reality and see something that's truly impossible?

There is nothing wrong with believing that magic is real! Truly, you should believe that the magic is real yourself when you perform, the magic will gain a lot by that! If it could hurt to believe that magic was real, then I'd tell - but it doesn't hurt...

Kind of with God - I believe in God! But if I KNEW that he didn't exist, I wouldn't go tell people this, because that faith is a very good thing to have Smile


It's difficult to explain the dynamics of my performance vis-a-vis my ethics in this medium because, as I said earlier, any "warnings" crucially depends on the world view of the spectator. For spectators who presumably know there is a clever secret and ask, "how do you do that?" I answer with a wolfish grin and say, "Magic." For others who think they have actually witnessed a miracle, or believe in miracles, then yes, I will "shatter" their illusions, "pull" a punch, and say, "there's no such thing." And I would go around telling people there is no God -- if it did any good. However that sort of prosylitizing is, I think, highly ineffective.

People already believe that what they're seeing is "impossible" -- but most know it's not impossible; it's an illusion. If somebody does not know it's an illusion, then you should make an effort to tell them.

Scorch writes:
Quote:
Given the purist nature of your stated views about "the truth," and the fact that magic absolutely relies on deception, are you sure you have chosen the right art form for you? When you force a card on a spectator, do you tell them that you are forcing a card? After all, that is "the truth," isn't it?


Well, that's easy. If people know it's a trick -- that deception is employed -- then you don't need to tell them you're forcing a card. Most people already know magic relies on deception. It's OK to lie when people know (implicitly) that it's part of the game. It's not OK for people to genuinely believe that Criss Angel really can align "mind, body, and spirit" in order to levitate. That's ********.

Quote:
You still have not explained why you feel this obligation to blunt the effect of your magic by assuring them that it is not magic (a rather odd confession for a magician, seemingly). Why are you so sure that the audience "need assurances" like that? Did they tell you? It seems rather presumptuous for you to define for your audience what their needs are.


Well, I don't legislate for others. If they don't want to witness an effect, that is fine. But I cannot contribute to an utterly corrupt and obtuse worldview -- one that believes in "real life" miracles.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
scorch
View Profile
Inner circle
1480 Posts

Profile of scorch
Quote:
On 2005-08-28 19:02, Cain wrote:
People already believe that what they're seeing is "impossible" -- but most know it's not impossible; it's an illusion. If somebody does not know it's an illusion, then you should make an effort to tell them....If they don't want to witness an effect, that is fine. But I cannot contribute to an utterly corrupt and obtuse worldview -- one that believes in "real life" miracles.


That's a rather arrogant judgment to have for somebody who purports to not "legislating for others."

I guess you're not understanding me. You keep repeating your assertions in different ways, and I get it. That's your opinion, and you're certainly entitled to it. What I'm curious about is why you think these things. But what I'm asking for is for you to substantiate these assertions. Don't just keep repeating them using different words. You haven't explained why you feel your views are superior and represent "the truth," such that the sense of wonder that you ultimately deny your audiences (and that most of the rest of us are actually striving for in our performances) is somehow an expression of a "corrupt and obtuse worldview."
Lord of Illusion
View Profile
Veteran user
Has his enemies stuck on
310 Posts

Profile of Lord of Illusion
Quote:
So, how do you present your's?


As magic. I never liked the "just look what I can do" style. Don't forget, what we do is a theatrical art, not just an exercise in knuckle busting.
Edward Wolfgang Poe,

The Necromancer of the South
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1504 Posts

Profile of Cain
Quote:
That's a rather arrogant judgment to have for somebody who purports to not "legislating for others."


Two reactions:
First: Not at all! Second: upon further examination, the above sentence makes little sense (the characterization doesn't seem to follow from the assertion).

Quote:
I guess you're not understanding me. You keep repeating your assertions in different ways, and I get it. That's your opinion, and you're certainly entitled to it. What I'm curious about is why you think these things. But what I'm asking for is for you to substantiate these assertions.


I should hope it is unnecessary to explain why a belief in miracles -- especially with regard to the parlor tricks performed here -- is irrational.

Quote:
Don't just keep repeating them using different words. You haven't explained why you feel your views are superior and represent "the truth," such that the sense of wonder that you ultimately deny your audiences (and that most of the rest of us are actually striving for in our performances) is somehow an expression of a "corrupt and obtuse worldview."


Well, we could instill a great sense of wonder by perpetrating a great hoax against a naive and unwitting segment of the public. Cult leaders are surprisingly adept creating illusions -- illusions so strong that even the charlatan falls under his own spell. But in our hierarchy of values, we ought to prize critical thinking above fanciful unthinking.

Do you really want to leave grown adults with the idea that mind-reading is possible? ESP?? The ability to levitate oneself? In the moment this may have the effect of creating child-like wonder, but it contributes to a culture that runs anathema to Enlighentenment values; a culture that essentially infantilizes persons by reinforcing what I earlier described as an obtuse worldview.

Are you familiar with psycho surgery? So-called mediums who claim to speak to dead relatives? Palm readers? Those claiming these powers are vampires who prey on perfectly decent people. Are you comfortable with people believing that someone like David Blaine is "not real." Or Uri Geller, or Criss Angel for that matter?

Suppose in your younger days you created crop circles, and these circles excited many people over the prospects of intelligent life, alien visitors. Years later you reflect on your past actions, and consider confessing that at least your own crop cricles were man-made. Now this sort of admission would surely disappoint a lot of people, sapping them of a sense of wonder that has entered into their otherwise mundane lives. Should you do it?
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
scorch
View Profile
Inner circle
1480 Posts

Profile of scorch
Well, OK I guess I see where you are coming from, though you still have not explained why in your judgment a "sense of wonder" that you might leave an audience with, and that you flat out deny them with your disclaimer, is a "corrupt and obtuse world view." Irrational, yes. We agree. But "corrupt and obtuse?" Reductive rationalism, like any other world view, can be just as "corrupt and obtuse" when its adherents take it too far and become too convinced of their own views such that they impose them upon others.

To each his own, but from my perspective it seems that you are both: A. greatly OVERestimating the impact of great magic that at most leaves people wondering if the performer might not have some abilities that they don't understand (which is in fact the case, when you think about it), and B. greatly UNDERestimating the value of allowing an audience the benefit of whatever reaction they will have, given THEIR world view, not yours. I suppose if you want to dictate such a reductive materialist world view on your audiences at the end of each of your acts with a disclaimer, you are free to make that rather curious (for a magician, certainly) choice. I guess you will ethically "allow yourself" the indulgence of temporarily creating the illusion of "real magic" as long as you exercise the self-imposed ethical discipline of denying that very same illusion immediately afterwards? If you were giving physics lectures instead of magic performances, it obviously wouldn't seem so strange and self-defeating to me.

Again, I think you overestimate the ability of even the best magic to turn people into anti-Englightenment, irrational cult followers. I will grant you that there is too much of that in our culture, but certainly "legit" entertainment magicians play virtually no role in that. If all magicians made your choice of denying any sense of wonder to their audiences with a disclaimer about a lack of magic in the world, people would still be going to Hawaii to get their shakras aligned and wearing crystals to ward off cancer spirits. The only thing that would change would be that the performing art of magic would die a certain, self-induced death. All of the hucksters that you mentioned (and incorrectly esteem that magicians play into) would still be in business.

I'm sure there's probably more for us to agree on here than to disagree on. But it makes me think of that opening to Star Wars: "A Long, Long, Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Away." We are meant to think or imagine that the story actually took place. George Lucas didn't say "The following is a story based on Teutonic and Norse Mythology as told through Richard Wagner's operas and the Tolkien books, tweaked around by Joseph Campbell and played out by paid actors and featuring a lot of technical special effects. Please be aware that The Force is not real." After all, that would have been more "truthful" and more faithful to your sensibilities, would it not? It's fiction and certainly not truthful, but there is a tremendous value to myth and ritual (such as exists in the traditions of entertainment magic) when it is presented as reality that your uber-rational mindset cannot account for. There are more things in heaven and earth, Cain, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Even if card magic isn't one of those things)

Besides, it's all just fun and games. We're making cards jump into our pockets and switch places and change colors, for corn's sakes! It's not like we're spelling it "Magick" and putting spells on people and making them believe in crystals and incantations, let alone all of the X Files weirdo stuff that you referenced. Do your audience a favor and try not to take yourself so seriously...
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
15746 Posts

Profile of tommy
I am trying to think of what logic there is in telling them it is a trick and not magic: All the magic that magicians do are tricks. Therefore all magicians are tricksters.

You might as well tell then how the tricks are done if your worried about them thinking your a magician. For me tell them your a magician and then prove it to them and stop pussy footing about.

People will then believe in vanpires. Good!
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
scorch
View Profile
Inner circle
1480 Posts

Profile of scorch
Quote:
On 2005-08-29 22:58, tommy wrote:
I am trying to think of what logic there is in telling them it is a trick and not magic


I am trying to think of what logic there is in somebody who is puritanical about other people not even momentarily entertaining irrational thoughts wanting to do magic in the first place.
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
15746 Posts

Profile of tommy
Maybe you can just tell them; It is an art.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26994 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Are you suggesting that you are somehow being clever and showing off skill? Why not just use magic? Much simpler.

Honestly I can't imagine asking an audience to admire false shuffles, packet switches, false counts and how well aligned one can keep one's multiple lifts and turnovers. What sort of skill is that anyway? I believe audiences are interested in being entertained and it seems comfortable for all to show them some magic.

In performance there is an agreement between the performer and the audience that the activity is for entertainment purposes and the scope of the magic is limited to the time and place of the entertainment. No harm, no foul.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1504 Posts

Profile of Cain
Quote:
On 2005-08-29 21:38, scorch wrote:
Well, OK I guess I see where you are coming from, though you still have not explained why in your judgment a "sense of wonder" that you might leave an audience with, and that you flat out deny them with your disclaimer, is a "corrupt and obtuse world view." Irrational, yes. We agree. But "corrupt and obtuse?" Reductive rationalism, like any other world view, can be just as "corrupt and obtuse" when its adherents take it too far and become too convinced of their own views such that they impose them upon others.

To each his own, but from my perspective it seems that you are both: A. greatly OVERestimating the impact of great magic that at most leaves people wondering if the performer might not have some abilities that they don't understand (which is in fact the case, when you think about it), and B. greatly UNDERestimating the value of allowing an audience the benefit of whatever reaction they will have, given THEIR world view, not yours. I suppose if you want to dictate such a reductive materialist world view on your audiences at the end of each of your acts with a disclaimer, you are free to make that rather curious (for a magician, certainly) choice. I guess you will ethically "allow yourself" the indulgence of temporarily creating the illusion of "real magic" as long as you exercise the self-imposed ethical discipline of denying that very same illusion immediately afterwards? If you were giving physics lectures instead of magic performances, it obviously wouldn't seem so strange and self-defeating to me.

Again, I think you overestimate the ability of even the best magic to turn people into anti-Englightenment, irrational cult followers. I will grant you that there is too much of that in our culture, but certainly "legit" entertainment magicians play virtually no role in that. If all magicians made your choice of denying any sense of wonder to their audiences with a disclaimer about a lack of magic in the world, people would still be going to Hawaii to get their shakras aligned and wearing crystals to ward off cancer spirits. The only thing that would change would be that the performing art of magic would die a certain, self-induced death. All of the hucksters that you mentioned (and incorrectly esteem that magicians play into) would still be in business.

I'm sure there's probably more for us to agree on here than to disagree on. But it makes me think of that opening to Star Wars: "A Long, Long, Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Away." We are meant to think or imagine that the story actually took place. George Lucas didn't say "The following is a story based on Teutonic and Norse Mythology as told through Richard Wagner's operas and the Tolkien books, tweaked around by Joseph Campbell and played out by paid actors and featuring a lot of technical special effects. Please be aware that The Force is not real." After all, that would have been more "truthful" and more faithful to your sensibilities, would it not? It's fiction and certainly not truthful, but there is a tremendous value to myth and ritual (such as exists in the traditions of entertainment magic) when it is presented as reality that your uber-rational mindset cannot account for. There are more things in heaven and earth, Cain, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (Even if card magic isn't one of those things)

Besides, it's all just fun and games. We're making cards jump into our pockets and switch places and change colors, for corn's sakes! It's not like we're spelling it "Magick" and putting spells on people and making them believe in crystals and incantations, let alone all of the X Files weirdo stuff that you referenced. Do your audience a favor and try not to take yourself so seriously...


The number of assumptions and speculative characteriziations herein greatly disturbs me. Contra the above straw man, I do not interrupt spectators in their moment of "oh, my god" laughter to ask, "Why are you so excited? You know it's just a trick, right?" Nor do I routinely advertise warnings before and after performance. I get a sense of what people are thinking by their reactions and adjust accordingly.

Especially in the case of card tricks there's an implicit agreement between most spectators and magicians that there is an underlying secret, a totally rational explanation. As I mentioned earlier, in these sort of situations when someone asks "How is it done?" I'll reply "What do you mean? It's magic." I virtually never attribute anything to personal special abilities, since in my performance style the magic often equally surprises me. In my style I'm (seemingly) as amazed as the spectator.

Now, when it comes to mentalism, reading a person's mind, that type of magic is not typically explained through sleight of hand. It can get under people's skin. I do not commonly take the initiative to say, "It's just a trick." In the case of someone who genuinely believes, a superstitious yuppie type, I might ask, "Do you really think I would be writing card predictions on napkins rather than tomorrow's lottery numbers if I possessed true-to-life supernatural powers?"

The supernatural/skill distinction applies more to television performers like Criss Angel and David Blaine. They knowingly allow their audiences to believe that part of it is illusion and part of it is real -- in effect taking the cowardly and dishonest, "let the spectator decide" point of view. It's not as though the spectator can reach a rational position given the level of deception (made for TV editing) involved.

Magicians can make a substantive contribution to the public awareness by demonstrating illusions like psycho surgery, spoon bending, and mind reading (as in the case of James Randi's noble efforts).
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
On another thread, Bill Hallahan posted the following from "Our Magic" by Maskelyne and Devant. It was written over 100 years ago, and I think it is still very pertinent to the present discussion:

"The modern magician does not deceive his spectators—that is to say, the legitimate magician. The modern charlatan, of course, has no more conscience than his predecessors. He will deceive anybody who will give him the chance, and he will try to deceive even those who don’t; just to make sure of missing no opportunity for chicanery.

"He and the legitimate magician, however, are as far apart as the poles, in aim and procedure. A legitimate magician never deludes his audience as to the character of his performance. He makes no claim to the possession of powers that beyond the scope of physical science. Neither does he, while rejoicing in the suggestio falsi, substitute in its place the suppresio veri. That method is one frequently adopted by charlatans in magic.

"The latter gentry often refrain from committing themselves to any definite statement on the subject of their powers. In effect, they say to their spectators, “We leave you to decide upon the nature of our feats. If you can explain the methods we employ, you will know that what we do is not miraculous. If, on the other hand, you cannot explain our methods you will, of course, know that we have the power to work miracles.”

"Since the majority of people attending public performances cannot explain the simplest devices used in magic, it is scarcely likely that persons with such limited capacity will arrive at any satisfactory explanation of processes involving even a moderate degree of complexity. Consequently, the mere reticence of the charlatan suffices to convince many people that “there is something in it.” So there is, no doubt, but, usually, not much—certainly, nothing such as the innocent dupe conceives.

"The distinguishing characteristic of the legitimate magician is straightforwardness. He makes no false pretenses, either by suggestion, implication, or reticence. This present treatise of course, relates only to legitimate magic; and therefore, our definition of the term is limited to misdirection of the sense, exclusively. We have nothing to do with fraudulent, or semi-fraudulent deception of intelligence as practiced by unscrupulous adventurers."
Bill Hallahan
View Profile
Inner circle
New Hampshire
3212 Posts

Profile of Bill Hallahan
Thanks Whit, although I'd feel much better if you were quoting me! Smile When that happens, you know it's time to retire! Smile

I'm a magician. When I perform I make impossible things happen, or impossible things happen to me.

There’s very little skill displayed! Smile

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
In performance there is an agreement between the performer and the audience that the activity is for entertainment purposes and the scope of the magic is limited to the time and place of the entertainment. No harm, no foul.

I agree.

It's rare that someone in our modern society thinks that magic is "real." This usually only happens to a very young child who sees a magic show, or an adult who experiences mental magic presented as if it were real. Caring adults usually give the child the truth. Sometimes an adult will believe a mentalism performance is a real exhibition of powers, and they'll hold that belief for the rest of their life.

Doctors take an oath to, "Do no harm." Their oath is not, "I’ll do anything as long as harm can’t be proven." I think magicians and mentalists should also adopt the attitude, "Do no harm."
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
15746 Posts

Profile of tommy
I don't think it is that rare Uri Geller is a case in point. I recall him when hit the UK many thousands of smart adults really thought he was for real. It took a lot of magicians to persuade some of them otherwise. Blaine is another and he told them he was magician. Some people still think Houdini had Supernatural powers. I don't think these guys did believers any harm. You can use magic and deception to con people but your not conning anyone by just entertaining them by pretending to be a real magician. It is not doing the believers any harm at all. If that does do harm I would like to know what harm it does. Can anyone give me an example. I see it might do a kid harm if he thinks it possible to fly. It does no harm however for them to believe in Santa Clause so what is the difference. Caring adults usually give the child the truth. Oh really! So do we tell the kids Santa will not arrive this year.

Tommy
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
scorch
View Profile
Inner circle
1480 Posts

Profile of scorch
Quote:
On 2005-08-30 14:09, Cain wrote:
Now, when it comes to mentalism, reading a person's mind, that type of magic is not typically explained through sleight of hand. It can get under people's skin. I do not commonly take the initiative to say, "It's just a trick." In the case of someone who genuinely believes, a superstitious yuppie type, I might ask, "Do you really think I would be writing card predictions on napkins rather than tomorrow's lottery numbers if I possessed true-to-life supernatural powers?"


Oh, I guess I misunderstood you. I was under the impression that if your performances were sufficiently strong to induce a spectator to speculate if you really did have some sort of supernatural ability, you would dispel it. I guess it's not that cut and dry for you, which is good news at least. Still, I can hardly see that insulting your audience (as in the above example), even for admittedly irrational speculations (which after all you yourself induced with considerably skill and effort), is any better. That example, with the "yuppie" jab, betrays your lack of respect for many, many people. I wonder how well you hide it, or if you even try to.

Quote:
On 2005-08-30 14:09, Cain wrote:
The supernatural/skill distinction applies more to television performers like Criss Angel and David Blaine. They knowingly allow their audiences to believe that part of it is illusion and part of it is real -- in effect taking the cowardly and dishonest, "let the spectator decide" point of view. It's not as though the spectator can reach a rational position given the level of deception (made for TV editing) involved.


I hardly think it is "cowardly and dishonest" to acknowledge that the spectator has their own world view and belief system that you as a performer have no control over. This unsupported (yet again) assertion makes me wonder if you might not be limiting your own success as a performer because of your lack of respect for your own audience, in all of their wonderful irrational quirkiness and individuality that you abhor. Personally, I don't have to share my belief system with my audience to enjoy performing for them and striving to make my magic hit as hard as I possibly can.

I think Houdini seemed to understand something that you are missing about the nature of performance magic, and the difference between that and the charlatanism that you confuse with it. For him it was no contradiction to debunk the charlatans on one hand, and perform magic and present it as "real" on the other. Some irrational beliefs can cause harm in this world, and many other irrational beliefs do not. And many (such as instructive child-rearing mythology) are very useful, powerful, and positive forces for socialization. A belief in Mohammad flying to heaven on a horse and in martyr mythology has shown to be a very harmful influence taken to an extreme, yet I can hardly see what harm it is for an audience to briefly wonder if maybe, just maybe a magician can really levitate or turn the ace of spades into a joker by waving his hand over it. You have characterized that child-like open-mindedness and sense of awe a "corrupt and obtuse world view" and those performers who aim for that reaction and allow it to come to fruition as "cowardly and dishonest." What fun you seem to be having!

Actually, this thread is starting to depress me, so I will disappear from it (don't worry, it's not real magic!). I'm reading Juan Tamariz right now, and in him especially you get a sense of the joy that he takes in the art of making people "believe in miracles." I so much prefer involving myself with this kind of positive attitude towards magic and performing for people (yes, even the yuppies!).
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Supernatural or Skill (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.39 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL